NSSN 524: Stop union busting on the buses & support the strikes

March 2, 2021 in Bulletins

This week’s NSSN bulletin headlines with the fight to stop union victimisation on the buses. Two union reps are fighting for their jobs. Declan Clune RMT was sacked by Bluestar in Hampshire last Friday. Moe Muhsin Manir Unite is in a disciplinary on a gross misconduct charge at the Abellio Walworth garage in South London. The same company had sacked another Unite rep Judith Katera in December at neighbouring Battersea but we are delighted to report that after a fantastic campaign, she has been reinstated!  This shows that union-busting can be defeated. As usual, bosses target union reps to more easily attack workers.

We also continue to send our support and solidarity to striking bus workers – those taking indefinite action in Manchester and drivers on strike for a second week in London

The NSSN stands for bringing back into public ownership all privatised bus companies

Donate to Declan Clune’s reinstatement campaign (on behalf of Declan Clune and all RMT Southampton District Bus and Coach Branch members)

Unite: Manchester mayor urged to intervene to protect community health as Go North West bus strike is due to begin (26 Feb) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents over 400 bus drivers at Go North West, has written to the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham urging him to intervene, having becoming increasingly alarmed at the company’s plans to continue to run services when strikes begin. The bus drivers will begin continuous (all out strike action) from this Sunday (28 February) in a dispute over the company’s plans to fire and rehire its workforce. This will amount to a £2,500 cut for workers and slashed conditions including sick pay. Rather than seek a negotiated settlement to avoid the strike, Unite has learned that Go North West is instead seeking to run an alternative service. Unite understands that Go North West is subcontracting its routes to other smaller bus companies, including Selwyn’s and Belle Vue coaches read more

Big brother fears as Go North West embarks on CCTV frenzy as bus strikes loom (Feb 24)

Harrow bus strike

Harrow bus strike

Unite: Fresh London bus strikes this week in battle to protect pay and conditions (1 March) – London bus passengers should brace for further severe disruption this week, Unite the union has warned, after fresh strikes in a dispute over pay and terms and conditions were called. The industrial action involves French-owned bus operator RATP and its three London subsidiaries; London United, Quality Line and London Sovereign. In the region of 2,000 bus drivers are involved in the dispute. The fresh strike action follows a number of strikes held last week on Monday 22 February, Tuesday 23 February and Wednesday 24 February. In a divide and rule approach, RATP is attempting to treat workers in each subsidiary differently and play one set of workers off against the other read more

 

NSSN stands in solidarity with International Women’s Day on March 8th – for events follow #IWD2021 on social media

 

The Sparks launch fight that forces bosses back de-skilling at Hinkley Point but struggle continues

Rank and file construction electricians have launched a struggle against what they see as multi-skilling by bosses at the massive site Hinkley Point to build the nuclear power station, estimated to cost £22.5 billion.

It is reported that an agreement to employ about 500 electrical apprentices had been reneged on and instead a training course for ‘Support Operatives’ is being put on. This would mean lower-paid unskilled workers being employed instead of skilled electricians.

This campaign was launched at protests last Wednesday in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle. Unite now report that the training course at Hinkley has been stopped, which is a great victory. But the fight goes on, particularly targeting NG Baileys and Balfour Beatty, until de-skilling is totally off the agenda.

Solidarity to the Sparks!

See Reel News video of last week’s protests

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSxUksyCCtM

Read latest Siteworker bulletins of the Rank & File:-

Unite Electrical & Mechanical Combine Statement

Unite statement: Hinkley Point C and Threatened Deskilling of Electricians

Hinkley Point C Deskilling Training Documents Revealed

There Will Be Fireworks: On Wednesday 24th February, the Construction Rank and File kicked off the fight against deskilling at Hinkley Point C by targeting several EDF officers across the country

The installer grade is BACK with 75% of Sparks work under threat

Unite statement: Hinkley Point C and Threatened Deskilling of Electricians (28 Feb) – An industrial disagreement is ongoing at Hinkley Point C after it was recently discovered that two training standards had been introduced by the Engineering Construction Training Board (ECITB) that would undermine the role of the electrician, without Unite, the UK’s construction union, input or agreement. The matter has been raised directly with the client EDF who have reacted to Unite’s concerns. All training in this area has been postponed until the problem has been resolved. The disputed standards relate to cabling and containment work the ‘bread and butter’ work for electricians on new build construction projects. Unite was alerted to the substandard training standards at an early stage. There are no electricians working at Hinkley Point C, currently undertaking cabling and containment work, as this phase of the project is yet to begin. Due to the early intervention of Unite, the training of any worker or apprentice at Hinkley has not been disrupted as no one has begun to be trained on the ECTIB’s defective training standards read more

 

NSSN South West Conference – Sunday 7 March 1pm Facebook event

Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Feel free to use this affiliation letter

And if you can, come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one in your area, get in touch to either assist in organising or have a speaker at one of your meetings or events. Contact Rob or Linda on [email protected]

Watch the NSSN pre-TUC Rally from last September and follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook

 

Fight together against the Tory Pay Freeze

Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a public sector pay freeze last November. NSSN Chair Rob Williams said, “Just as the Tories are exposed over giving COVID contracts to their cronies and a day after a big rise in defence spending is announced, millions of public sector workers face yet another pay freeze. After standing on the front line, putting their lives at risk, they face sinking further into poverty. This is on top of a decade of Tory pay cuts that saw workers lose up to 14% of their income. Sunak cynically ‘exempts’ NHS workers from this pay cap but they won’t be fooled. Any rise will go nowhere close to the 15% rise demanded this summer by protesting health workers to close the gap on what has been lost on the last 10 years. The NSSN sends our solidarity to public sector workers and their unions. This announcement will take place virtually on the 10th anniversary of George Osborne’s brutal austerity offensive.  That cuts blizzard led to 2 million public sector workers walk out together on the November 30th N30 pensions strike. Workers need to fight together now to send the clearest message to the Tories and the employers: we won’t pay the price in terms of our jobs and income for your total mismanagement of the COVID pandemic and any economic crisis. Especially when the super-rich increase their wealth at our expense. The NSSN calls on the TUC and the unions to organise protests in towns to start the mobilisation of workers that can lead to the co-ordinated industrial action that we need to defeat the Tories and inflict on them yet another U-turn.”

TUC online ‘Rally for a Workers Budget’ – 7:30pm-9pm Tuesday 2 March

 

Support the NHS pay protests – last year, there were demonstrations and rallies in many towns and cities. Workers in the NHS and care sector workers demand an immediate 15% pay rise that starts to close the income gap caused by a decade of pay freezes. Details of some of these events can be found here in the Nurses and Midwives say NO! to Public Sector pay inequality Facebook group and on the Keep Our NHS Public website. Also visit the website of Health Campaigns Together. We support the call of many health workers for industrial action ballots, co-ordinated across all the health unions and linking up with all other workers in public services. We are confident that this would be supported by workers in the private sector and all those who benefit from health and social care, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic where so many staff put their lives on the line. Sign the petition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak – ‘We demand a pay rise for key workers’

 

The NSSN is continuing to report on how workers are organising during the coronavirus pandemic

The NSSN is opening up our weekly email bulletin, website and social media platforms of Facebook and twitter to provide a public forum for workers during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. We want to be a place where we can all share queries and experiences that workers are facing in their workplaces. These include reports of action taken by workers to defend themselves from their employers.

You can read about many of these actions in our weekly bulletin and out social media groups, especially our Facebook group: NSSN – defend workers’ rights under Coronavirus.

You can also send the NSSN your reports and queries via our website, twitter – @NSSN_AntiCuts and email – [email protected]

We welcome the information being sent to union members concerning the spread of coronavirus, including the Accord, Advance, AEP, AFA-CWA, ASLEF, BDA, BECTU Sector of Prospect, BFAWU, BOS-TU, College of Podiatry, Community, CSP, EIS, Equity, FBU, FDA, GMB, HCSA, MU, NAHT, NASUWT, National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), Nautilus International, NEU, NGSU, NUJ, PFA, Prospect, RCM, SoR, TSSA, TUC, UCU, UNISON, Unite, URTU, USDAW, WGGB and the RCN

But it is absolutely vital that unions retain their ability to organise and act independently in defence of their members and workers generally. This includes the right of unions to take industrial action. We are already aware of workers being forced to take unofficial action on health and safety grounds. We also believe that unions should have oversight of any government bans on protests and picketing. This is the same Tory government that tabled more new anti-union laws in December’s Queens Speech last December and cannot be trusted.

We believe that it is essential that workers are protected during this worrying period and are not impacted, whether in terms of their safety as well as their pay and employment rights. The Tory government have announced measures that include some workers receiving 80% of their wages. This furlough scheme was due to end but has now been extended because of the 2nd lockdown.

However, we believe that no worker should pay the price for any spread of the virus. We say: work or full pay. Any worker who is required not to attend work or is unable to do so because of COVID, childcare or transport closures should receive full pay and not be forced to take annual leave. But unions have to remain vigilant that any government payments actually happen and also covers all workers, including those in precarious employment such as zero-hour contracts and in the gig economy.

We have drafted this model motion which we’ve made into a bulletin that can be downloaded and printed off to be distributed. Feel free to use in your union and trades council, in totality or partially to highlight the issues that need to be addressed.

Keep an eye out for other Facebook and social media groups and pages that are being created. The Coronavirus Support Group for Workers has been set up on Facebook and is a useful forum and you can catch up on disputes at Strike Map UK

 

Union News

RMT

Stop union victimisation: support Sean Miskimmon (RMT NEC/Stena), Gary Carney (London Underground) and Declan Clune (bus driver in Hampshire)  

RMT to hold protest at Lewisham rail station this morning – Tues 2nd March – demanding urgent action to halt surge in COVID-related assaults – RAIL UNION RMT is holding a protest outside Lewisham rail station this morning demanding urgent action in the wake of a surge of COVID-related assaults on staff read more

RMT on COVID-related assaults at Lewisham station (26 Feb) – RMT demands urgent action to halt surge in COVID-related assaults on staff at Lewisham railway station. RAIL UNION RMT is demanding urgent action in defence of staff safety at Lewisham railway station in the wake of a surge of COVID-related assaults on staff. The demands have been issued following a meeting with station operator Southeastern yesterday. In one incident alone this month a member of staff was spat at in the face and two others verbally abused and threatened by a man who was vandalising the station. This is the second time the worker has been spat at and the third time he has been assaulted, leaving him terrified of returning to work read more

RMT renews demands for all rail services to be renationalised on the day the Government extends its public ownership of Northern Trains 91 Mar) – RAIL UNION RMT today renewed its demands for all rail services to be taken into public ownership after the public owned Operator of Last Resort (OLR) was given a 5 year extension to its running of Northern read more

RMT research reveals COVID corporate cash grab scandal as privatised rail profits rack up to 15 pence of every pound passengers paid on fares (1 Mar) – As the Government increases passenger rail fares by 2.6% today, new research by RMT reveals that the private train operating and rolling stock companies’ profits from last year stand to be equivalent to 15 pence of every pound passengers paid on fares during the same period. RMT is demanding an end to this shameless profiteering to allow all revenue profit to be reinvested in improving the rail network for passengers and ensuring a fair deal for rail workers read more

COVID quarantine exemptions for offshore workers (25 Feb) – RMT welcomes breakthrough on COVID quarantine exemptions for offshore workers. OFFSHORE UNION RMT today responded to the Scottish Government’s amendment to quarantine legislation to exempt offshore oil and gas workers returning to Scotland from or via a non-acute country read more

Government’s Williams Review all about saving rail privatisation and declaring war on rail workers warns RMT (25 Feb) – The government’s long delayed rail review, set to be highlighted by Keith Williams today, is all about saving rail privatisation rather than saving the railways RMT has warned. Media reports have indicated that Williams has submitted proposals to the Treasury which will “incentivise” private rail operators to stay in the industry, even after the Covid-19 pandemic has reaffirmed once and for all that the privatised rail operators are entirely dependent on taxpayer support for their survival read more

RMT raises serious safety concerns over commercial pressures on seafarers and ferry services (25 Feb) – FERRIES UNION RMT today responded to the publication of the Maritime Accident Investigation Branch’s report into the fire on the Lithuanian registered Finlandia Seaways in April 2018 which resulted in the withdrawal of the vessel from the Rosyth-Zeebrugge route by the owners, DFDS, despite support from the Scottish taxpayer read more

RMT demand Government action to stop shipowner exploitation of seafarers (24 Feb) – SEAFARERS UNION RMT today responded to the latest Government statistics on the number of UK seafarers working in the shipping industry in 2020 read more

RMT warns of jobs, pay and pensions carve up (24 Feb) – RMT warns of jobs, pay and pensions carve up as DFT hires a union buster. RAIL UNION RMT warned today that the Department for Transport is gearing up for an all-out assault on jobs, pay and pensions as it has emerged that it is advertising for a paid-up union buster to take on the workforce read more

Sign this petition: RMT steps up campaign for TfL funding

Sign petition: to The Mayor of London and the London Assembly – End the privatisation of cleaning at Transport for London

Please Support RMT Members With No Wages! – RMT London Transport Region Zero Hours & Self-Employed members need our Solidarity Now! Many of our regions self-employed members and those on zero hours have not any had wages for 2 months since March. They have been abandoned by London Underground, TfL, the London Mayor and their agency employers. They MUST NOT be abandoned by us too; their RMT sisters and brothers! The RMT London Transport Regional Council and LU Engineering RMT branch are calling out to all branches, members and friends to dig deep and give meaningful solidarity to our hard pressed members facing poverty and possibly eviction from their homes. To help support by donating to the fund or to ask after support for yourself, please email: [email protected]  read more

 

ASLEF

ASLEF remembers the Selby rail crash (28 Feb) – Today we remember those who died, and were injured, in the Selby train crash on 28th February 2001. This marks the 20th anniversary of the crash, which remains the UK’s worst rail disaster of the twenty-first century. Ten people lost their lives, including train drivers Stephen Dunn (known as George) and John Weddle, as well as GNER train staff Ray Robson and Paul Taylor, and Barry Needham who was working on the Freightliner train read more

Still no rail plan for the country (25 Feb) – Following Keith Williams’ speech this morning at the National Rail Recovery Conference, General Secretary Mick Whelan has commented on the ongoing lack of a whitepaper or plan for Britain’s railways. Mick said: ‘The Tories have, finally, admitted that privatisation – or, at least, the franchise system introduced by John Major when he privatised Britain’s railways back in 1994 – has failed. But the Williams report – which was finished in November 2019 but put on the back burner by this government – does not engage with the fundamental problem that rail is a natural monopoly. A monopoly that should be run as a public service, not for private profit…” read more

 

TSSA

TSSA says government should make Northern “permanently public” (1 Mar) – TSSA today (Monday) welcomed the extension to Northern rail’s public ownership contract, saying that the government was “on the right track” but needed to make the award permanent. General Secretary Manuel Cortes said “By extending the public sector contract to run Northern rail services the government are on the right track. But rather than issuing a contract for two to five years Transport Minister Grant Shapps should make it a permanent award now read more

Worker sacked for poor internet connection reinstated following TSSA campaign (26 Feb) – TSSA today claimed victory after their member Baylee Morrison was reinstated by Dingwall employer NSL who had sacked her for poor internet connectivity which affected her ability to work from home during lockdown. Invergordon resident Baylee was reinstated after her trade union, the TSSA, released her story to the media, with support from Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant read more

Concerning obsession with private sector from Williams, says TSSA (25 Feb) – “Rail privatisation has failed and the government needs to face up to that” said TSSA leader Manuel Cortes in response to a conference appearance by rail revue author Keith Williams. At this morning’s Rail Recovery Conference, Keith Williams explained that the hotly anticipated Williams Review was being ‘tested’ following the coronavirus pandemic which had decimated passenger numbers and thrown passenger modelling into flux read more

Covid Recovery Plans Must “Pull Out Stops” To Help Eurostar (24 Feb) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called on the Government to “pull out all the stops” to safeguard Eurostar’s future after Boris Johnson outlined the lifting of Covid restrictions which could permit international travel by the summer. The call from the boss of the transport and travel union follows a meeting with Treasury officials aimed at preventing the collapse of the channel tunnel train operator which has just two services a day as a result of the pandemic restrictions read more

 

Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! Living Wage Foundation urged to end Goodlord accreditation over ‘brutal’ London pay cuts as indefinite strikes begin (2 Mar) – The Living Wage Foundation has been urged to end its accreditation of London-based lettings software provider Goodlord over ‘brutal’ £6,000 pay cuts that have forced staff to begin indefinite strike action, Unite said today (Tuesday 2 March). Around 20 Unite members employed in Goodlord’s London-based referencing department, which provides tenant checks for estate agents, had been on discontinuous strike since 22 February. On March 1, however, the workers escalated their industrial action to an indefinite strike, meaning they will not return to work until the dispute is resolved. The dispute centres on fire and rehire plans that would see the pay of Goodlord’s referencing staff plummet from £24,000 to £18,000. Goodlord is accredited as a Living Wage Foundation employer. However, the cuts would see Goodlord’s referencing staff earn less than the foundation’s London living wage of £21,157. Referencing staff are the only workers employed by the company to have been singled out for fire and rehire attacks read more

Probe called for into the ‘elusive’ boss of Lancashire firm where workers are still owed up to £170,000 in unpaid wages (1 Mar) – Serious questions continue to be asked into allegations that the owner of Lunar Automotive, previously based in Preston, has not paid his workforce to the tune of about £170,000 while they have been furloughed. The company has now relocated to The Squires in Blackpool with the remaining workers threatened with the possibility of redundancy and, if they keep their jobs, it will be on inferior ‘fire and rehire’ terms. Unite the union wants HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to probe the business affairs of the company’s owner Nicholas Marks into allegations that he claimed money from the taxpayer-funded job retention scheme (JRS), but did not pass onto the 45-strong workforce (since reduced to about 20) who have not been paid since August last year read more

Unite members set to strike at Clyde nuclear bases following ‘overwhelming’ support for action (27 Feb) – Unite the union has today (27 February) announced that its membership at the Coulport and Faslane naval bases on the Clyde are set to take part in rolling industrial action following ‘overwhelming’ support from its 1000-strong membership. Unite members voted by 95% in support of strike action on an aggregated 65% turnout across the three different entities at the bases (Babcock Industrial, Babcock Non-Industrial and ISS Facility Services). The strike action will also be held in conjunction with a continuous call out ban and ban on all overtime. The rolling industrial action is set to begin every day from 12 March at 10 a.m read more

Unions dismayed by delays on pay rise decision for council and school workers (26 Feb) – The three main local government unions have ​today (Friday 26 February)​ called on employers to speed up the pay offer process, so council and school staff don’t have to wait months for the wage rise due in the spring. UNISON, GMB and Unite – which between them represent 1.4 million council and school employees – have called for a substantial increase to redress a decade of cuts and recognise​the role played by staff in the pandemic. But they have been told a 2021/22 rise will not even be considered until after the local elections on 6 May, despite staff being due a wage increase from 1 April. In a joint letter to local government employers, the unions have demanded an explanation for the delay, pointing out that all councils already know their budgets for the financial year ahead. The three unions have also called for discussions to start on the pay offer as soon as possible read more

Government’s ‘risky’ schools reopening gamble risks Covid spike, warns Unite (23 Feb) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents school support staff throughout the UK, has warned that the government’s decision to fully re-open schools in England on 8 March risks increasing Covid-19 rates and threatens the health of children, all school workers and their families read more

Sainsbury’s faces South East Easter shortages as DHL strikes over ‘union busting’ loom – Sainsbury’s is facing Easter shortages at its stores across the South East, including parts of London, after DHL staff at its Dartford regional distribution centre voted for strike action over ‘union busting’, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday 12 February). The Dartford strike ballot was called after a Unite steward, who was providing support to a member of staff during an investigation hearing, was suspended for challenging a DHL managers’ version of events. The reason given for the suspension by the manager was that the Unite steward was being aggressive – an accusation flatly contradicted by a neutral member of staff who was present at the meeting as a third party. After the vote in favour of strike action, more than 350 DHL staff are now poised to stage walk out’s throughout March, April and May read more

NHS bosses probed on profit margins of £755,000 contract for Reading hospital security guards – NHS bosses are being quizzed on the profit margins of the outsourced contract for the security guards at Reading hospital, who are currently locked in a ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle. Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust is paying Kingdom Service Group Ltd a total of £755,763-a-year to provide security for the trust. The security guards are currently on strike until early March over the Kingdom management’s failure to make a decent pay offer for 2020. Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, is now questioning whether the contract is ‘value for money’ and how big the profits margins are for Kingdom Service Group – a major corporate service provider with a £100 million plus turnover. Unite wants to know if it would not be better value for the taxpayer if the contract was brought back in-house which would then eradicate the hefty built-in profit margins that the outsourced company now enjoys…The 20 security guards have been taking strike action since mid-December and the third wave of strike action will run from 19.00 on Friday 12 February and ending at 19.00 on Sunday 7 March. This follows on from already announced strikes from 07:00 today (Monday 8 February) until 19.00 on Friday 12 February read more   Text solidarity messages via Jessica 07718668497 and donate to strike fund: Acc. No.: 20173991   Sort Code: 60-83-01.  Sign petition to Mark Wallace , Kingdom Service Group Managing Director: Pay Royal Berkshire Hospital security staff a wage they can live on

Scunthorpe scaffolders step up strike action at British Steel site – The British Steel plant in Scunthorpe faces further disruption this month as scaffolders based at the site, announced a further six days of strike action in a dispute over pay. The workers have already taken four days of strike action and will mount a further 48 hour strike beginning at 05:30 on Monday 8 February. Unite has now announced a 48 hour strike to begin at 05:30 on Monday 15 February, a 24 hour hours strike beginning at 05:30 on Thursday 18 February, then a further 48 hour strike beginning at 05:30 on Monday 22 February and finally a 24 hour strike from 05:30 on Thursday 25 February. The 50 plus scaffolders, involved in the strike action are employed by contractor Brand Energy to undertake maintenance on over 500 scaffolding structures that are on the British Steel site read more

Fresh Babcock strikes at RAF Leeming as ‘flight disruption’ over pay disparity continues – Strike action by Babcock Aerospace workers at RAF Leeming, near Northallerton in North Yorkshire, over a £5,000 pay disparity will continue until the end of February, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday 28 January). Around 50 Babcock workers, who provide operational and engineering services for aircraft at RAF Leeming, including the Hawk trainer aircraft, last week began three weeks of discontinuous strike action as well as a continuous overtime ban. Unite said of the fresh wave of strike action: “the disruption to training flight schedules will continue until the end of February”. The workers will be holding socially distanced picket lines outside the main entrance to RAF Leeming during the strikes (see notes to editors for strike times and dates). The Unite members voted in favour of strike action after being refused shift pay, even though their colleagues at RAF Valley in Wales receive it for performing the same duties. The difference in take home wages between those who receive shift pay and those who do not amounts to around £5,000 a year read more

Donations can be made as follows:

Bank Transfer to : Sort Code: 60 83 01 Account No: 20173962

Account Name: Unite North East Region 1% Fund

Reference: Babcock Aerospace Ltd and your branch number

Alternatively, By Cheque made payable to “Unite the Union” and forwarded to the Leeds Regional Office, Unite the Union, 55 Call Lane, Leeds, LS1 7BW marked for the attention of the Regional Secretary (Babcock Aerospace Dispute).

For messages of support please email [email protected]

Read document by Unite Community Cumbria branch: ‘Covid and the Tories – a world beating catastrophe’

 

PCS

Cuts at V+A will put collections at risk (1 Mar) – Staff at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V+A) are facing an uncertain future, after it was revealed wide ranging job losses are likely to be announced today. Among the planned restructuring, PCS understands the entire curatorial and conservation science departments, as well as the National Arts Library are being restructured read more

Email Sunak to tell him scrap the pay freeze (26 Feb) – Ahead of the budget on Wednesday (3 March) when chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to confirm a public sector pay freeze we have launched an e-action so our members and supporters can email to tell him to scrap the freeze. For the past 11 months our members, as government employees, have given everything they can to help the country deal with the Covid crisis read more

HMRC members overwhelmingly back pay and contract reform deal (26 Feb) – PCS members in HMRC have voted overwhelmingly to support the pay and contract reform offer, negotiated by PCS in the department, with a massive ballot turnout in support of the 3-year deal which is worth an average 13% read more

Court staff Covid deaths will increase without drastic action, warns PCS (25 Feb) – The continued insistence that staff go into work at courts and tribunals will inevitably increase the risk of infection and death due to Covid-19, is the stark warning from PCS. PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka has written to minister for justice Robert Buckland calling for urgent talks as we do not believe the courts and tribunals buildings to be Covid safe or secure as despite lockdown measures coming into force on 5 January staff attendance at workplaces in HM Courts and Tribunals (HMCTS) has not adequately decreased. Significantly high levels of transmission of Covid across the HMCTS estate are continuing to be reported. For the 7 days prior to the 20 January 2021, staff rates including tribunals were at 461.8 per 100,000 against a national figure of 390.5. That fact, coupled with what our members and other professional court users are telling us about what is happening on the ground, support our assertion that HMCTS workplaces are unsafe. We are currently running a strike ballot until noon on 5 March of our members who work at 12 of the courts where staff are most at risk, as well as a consultative ballot until 15 March for all other HMCTS members. For the consultative ballot, you have until noon on 10 March to request a replacement ballot paper read more

Celebrating success at the Wallace Collection (24 Feb) – Following a successful campaign by PCS, the Wallace Collection Library and Archive will remain open. The library and archives at the Wallace Collection in London were threatened with closure as part of cost-cutting measures being considered by senior management at the museum. The institution’s visitor numbers dropped by 95% from more than 450,000 in 2019-20 to 26,000 in 2020-21, leading to a significant loss of income read more

Please sign this PCS petition to Save Ealing Tax Officewe ask that you sign this eaction to the Chancellor calling on him to intervene urgently, to halt the office closures and redundancies, and consult fully with the union and work to retain the experience and vital knowledge contained within Ealing Tax Office. Support our call to SAVE JOBS, SAVE SERVICES and STOP THE CLOSURES

 

GMB

Support the GMB strike against ‘fire and rehire at British Gas – send a message of support and donate to the GMB British Gas ‘Fire and Rehire’ Strike Fund

Leader of Southampton City Council condemns British Gas fire and rehire plan (26 Feb)

Low paid ambulance staff being put at covid risk by trust’s two-tier PPE policy (2 Mar) – Don’t discriminate against the lowest paid crew members and treat both sides of the service equally. GMB, the North East’s biggest general union, says low paid ambulance workers are being put at risk by their trust’s two-tier policy towards PPE. The union says the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) is playing fast and loose with covid safety by prioritising higher paid staff and leaving lowest paid frontline ambulance workers with the most basic of masks read more

Consultation on JCB’s Plans to Close Company Pension Scheme (1 Mar) – JCB have announced that they will be closing the Lifeplan pension scheme from April, affecting many loyal employees. The decision to close the scheme is disappointing, and will have a massive impact on the quality of life for our members during their retirement. GMB is consulting with members regarding this decision and the company’s alternative proposals. Your rep should be in touch, but if you want to know more, get in touch using the get in touch tab read more

GMB members at Reigate & Banstead set to strike over pay as Council Leaders offer derisory pay rise (1 Mar) – “Effectively this is the Council Leaders sticking two fingers up to their staff whilst they struggle to pay their bills”, say GMB Union. GMB, the union for staff at Reigate & Banstead Council, are preparing their members for strike action after pay talks with the Council broke down. The union entered in to pay talks with the Council during 2020 with a view to implement the deal on April 1st 2021. Reigate and Banstead offered a full and final offer of 1.3%, which was subsequently rejected during a consultative ballot read more

HC-One announces sale of 52 care homes leaving thousands of key workers in limbo (1 Mar) – Government’s appalling lack of strategy for social care has left care of the most vulnerable in uncertain futures. GMB, the union for care workers, has responded to HC-Ones’s announcement 52 care homes are to be sold and four closed read more

GMB vows to fight as Asda announces more than 3,700 potential job losses (25 Feb) – More than 5,000 workers lives on hold while in scope for potential redundancies. GMB Union has begun consultation with Asda as the supermarket giant announces more than 3,700 potential job losses. The union will tell Asda bosses no one should be forced to leave their job unless they want to read more

Ikea refuses to pay workers real living wage – but flaunts the living wage badge (25 Feb) – Ikea​ must either pay workers what it says on the Real Living Wage tin, or own up to being a cheapskate – it can’t have it both ways. Ikea is refusing to pay workers the Real Living Wage (RLW) – but wants to keep its status as a living wage employer, says GMB Union. The home furnishings giant is proudly displaying a plaque in the reception of its sites and still being listed on the Living Wage Foundation website read more

Uber must not be allowed to ‘dodge their responsibilities’ (24 Feb) – Landmark ruling now needs Government to act on its commitments to clampdown on bogus self-employment. After the Government faced an urgent question in the Commons today on GMB’s landmark Supreme Court victory over Uber, the union has called for the Ministers to act now to enforce the verdict. MPs from all parties including from the Government joined the union in calling for the Government to act on previous commitments to clampdown on bogus self-employment read more

GMB condemns sacking of striking workers at tile factory in Beenham (24 Feb) – We wholly condemn the sacking of the Marley strikers, whilst the manager who drove his car at them is lauded. GMB, the union at Marley Tiles in Reading, believes the dismissal of the three members and the final written warnings given to two other members, was for engaging in lawful industrial action at the tile factory in Beenham. The industrial action took place in December 2020 and resulted in disciplinary action for five members including the workplace rep on 23rd February 2021, who between them have 101 years employment with the company. In contrast, no action has been taken against the manager who was reported by many members as having ‘driven his car at excessive and dangerous speed at the picket line’ of workers, as well as encouraging a lorry driver to also drive at the picket line, which was captured on CCTV. Despite reports to the police about his behaviour, the company have instead sacked the workers who were driven at aggressively and dangerously. GMB has been balloting members over action to defend its members undergoing disciplinary action read more

 

Unison

Cumberland Infirmary workers stage second strike (1 Mar) – UNISON calls on NHS England to investigate where a “substantial sum” of money has gone that should have been used to fund unsocial hours payments for the workers. UNISON members on a socially distanced picket line outside Cumberland Infirmary. UNISON members at Cumberland Infirmary are taking a second day of strike action today as their private employer refuses to end a decade of missing payments. More than 150 porters, cleaners, switchboard and catering staff employed at Cumberland Infirmary by facilities company Mitie, took a first day of action on Friday over missing payments for working unsocial hours read more

Unions dismayed by delays on pay rise decision for ​council and school workers (26 Feb) – Employers must speed up pay offer. The three main local government unions have ​today (Friday)​ called on employers to speed up the pay offer process, so council and school staff don’t have to wait months for the wage rise due in the spring. UNISON, GMB and Unite​ – which between them represent 1.4 million council and school employees – have called for a substantial increase to redress a decade of cuts and recognise​ the role ​played by staff in the pandemic read more

NHS staff ​urge the chancellor to do the right thing and fund a pay rise (26 Feb) – Rishi Sunak should give something back on behalf of the nation read more

‘Peace of mind and protection’ – why members are getting the jab (26 Feb) – UNISON members share their experiences of getting the COVID-19 vaccine to help show that, despite historical health inequalities, there’s nothing to fear read more

Unison: Support the Birmingham NHS Heartlands Porters Dispute – UNSION members who are Heartlands Hospital Porters are currently taking strike action about the proposed imposition of a new rota. This will result in them working detrimental rotating 8 shifts pattern. The proposed rota impacts on our members health and well being; their caring responsibilities; their work/life balance and results in a significant cut in wages for many read more on Facebook page.

Email message of support to [email protected]

Donate to hardship fund: Unison University Hospitals Birmingham Branch 22536, Unity Trust Bank, Ac: 20403849   Sort Code: 60 83 01

Sign petition: We call upon the Chair of the Trust Jacqui Smith and the Chief Executive David Rosser to halt the imposition of the rota and to not ‘fire and rehire’ their Heartlands Hospital Porters on the 1st Feb. We urge them to ask the senior management to work with UNISON to implement a jointly agreed rota which is based upon a ‘fixed’ shift basis

 

CWU

Solidarity and respect for ‘brave and selfless’ Openreach RPE strikers (26 Feb) – A tidal wave of respect and support continues to flood in for the union’s small but intensely loyal membership of Openreach Repayment Engineers who yesterday (Thursday) completed their second consecutive day of strike action over imposed changes to the grading of their role. On Wednesday  170-strong group commenced their rock-solid stand against management intransigence, misinformation and, latterly, tacit intimidation – kicking off the first of five all-out strike days that have been announced to date with an virtual picket line that has since exploded into a mass expression of solidarity online. With further strike days already scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday next week – and thousands now following the dispute on social media – that support continues to mushroom across not just the CWU but the whole of the trade union and wider labour movement. On Wednesday evening well over 400 logged onto a special ‘Solidarity Session’ on Zoom to mark the first day of industrial action anywhere in BT Group since 1999 – and since then special video messages from the main contributors have been viewed by many thousands more across the union’s social media channels read more

‘Highly recommended’ Post Office pay & pension package (26 Feb) – An across-the board basic salary rise, plus variable bonus consolidations, offers a combined lift in members’ wages of between 4.7 and 7.1 per cent…An innovative pay agreement reached by the CWU in talks with Post Office chiefs brings several different bonus schemes into pensionable pay and “transforms a modest settlement into a much better overall package” reports CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey read more

Relief for some but dread for others as the reality of Technology’s location strategy hits home (24 Feb) – More questions have been posed than answered about the future prospects of an as yet unquantifiable number of team member grade employees in BT Technology following the release of more details about the division’s Better Workplace Programme (BWP) read more

Sign petition: Keep BT desk based sites open in London and the South East

 

FBU

BREAKING NEWS!! England’s fire services cut by £140m since 2016, new figures show (2 Mar) – Government funding for fire and rescue services in England has been cut by £139.7m since 2016/17, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) can reveal, in new analysis of the 2021/22 local government finance settlement. Ministers have reduced funding for fire and rescue services by 13.8% in cash terms over the five years since the last local government finance settlement, leaving fire and rescue services exposed as they face emerging threats from flooding, wildfires, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The FBU is calling on the Chancellor to bring forward urgent funding for the service in the Spring Budget read more

 

NAPO

Demand a Workers’ Budget: Join other Napo members at the TUC Rally for a Workers’ Budget – 7.30pm, Tuesday 2 March. The night before Rishi Sunak’s Budget – unions are getting together to demand a Workers’ Budget! Sign up to attend now at tuc.org.uk/RegisterWorkersBudget 

 

BFAWU

Sign ‘War on Want’ petition: END SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT MCDONALD’S McDonald’s has a sexual harassment problem. Women from across the world are joining together and speaking out about the harassment they have faced whilst working at the company. Workers in the USA have even been on strike about it. But still McDonald’s is refusing to take the action needed to end sexual harassment in its restaurants. The evidence is clear: a formal complaint submitted by workers in May 2020 shows at least seven countries where McDonald’s has failed to properly address harassment complaints, and the company’s global CEO even had to resign because of inappropriate relationships with employees. Please email McDonald’s UK CEO today and demand that the company listens to its workers and takes steps to end sexual harassment

 

NEU

Support these NEU strikes:-

Langley School / Birmingham: (Covid health and safety concerns as well as unreasonable management practices.) Tuesday 2 March Thursday 4 March [email protected]

Wycliffe College & Prep School/Gloucester: (Withdrawal of TPS)
(Covid health and safety concerns as well as unreasonable management practices.)Tuesday 2 March [email protected]

Sign petition and support the strikes to Reinstate Sharon Morgan LONDON DESIGN AND ENGINEERING UTC Newham – At the start of this term, teacher and NEU rep Sharon Morgan was summarily dismissed from her job by London Design and Engineering UTC. Sharon was sacked without due process, with no formal investigation or a hearing where she could put her case. At an employment tribunal the judge described LDE’s behaviour as “morally reprehensible” and LDE subsequently agreed to reinstate Sharon. But the next day LDE changed their mind and refused to reinstate her. In reality, Sharon was sacked for helping NEU members stand up for better working conditions for staff, in the interests of the whole school community. This is trade union victimisation and it’s unacceptable. The sacking of Sharon is an attack on all trade unionists at LDE, in Newham, and everywhere.

Support Newham Little Ilford School strikes against unsafe expansion – NEU members have been taking strike action at the enormous comprehensive in Manor Park, east London, which already teaches 1,470 students. Labour-run Newham Council wants it to take 1,800. Sign petition: Newham Council is trying to force Little Ilford School to expand to 1800 pupils. But expanding will mean an overcrowded school and an overwhelming environment for all staff and pupils. It will undermine the quality of education and care that can be provided to pupils. And the expansion is opposed by virtually the entire staff body

 

NASUWT
Questions persist on reliability and manageability of grading process (25 Feb) –
Commenting on the announcement by the Department for Education on teacher assessed grades for qualifications this summer, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “The NASUWT has recognised consistently that the difficult but necessary decision to cancel examinations in the summer of 2021 has meant hard choices for Government and the regulator in ensuring that young people can leave school or college with credible and worthwhile qualifications…” read more

 

EIS

EIS Writes to Party Leaders Urging Support for Vaccinating School Staff (1 Mar) – The EIS has written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister John Swinney and to the Holyrood leaders of Scotland’s major political parties, calling for their support to vaccinate school staff against Covid read more

EIS Urges Scottish Government to “Protect Education” (26 Feb) – The EIS has urged the Scottish Government to “Protect Education” by offering COVID vaccinations to school staff, by ensuring improved ventilation in schools to combat airborne spread of infection, and by providing medical-grade face coverings for use by school staff read more

 

UCU

Updates on latest UCU disputes

Petition calling for fair funding and online learning

UCU threatens industrial action across all Northern Ireland colleges over pay (25 Feb) – UCU is threatening to take industrial action over staff pay across all six Northern Ireland further education colleges. The union wrote to Northern Ireland minister for the economy Diane Dodds to declare a dispute between its members and the minister’s department. This is the latest in a series of escalations by UCU to secure an increase in pay for  college lecturers. The move comes after Northern Ireland’s further education colleges offered lecturers a pay increase of just 7% over the next four years. Overall, the offer amounts to an annual pay rise of just 1.2% over a nine-year period and a real terms pay cut. UCU declared a dispute with the Department for the Economy because colleges have said they cannot pay staff more unless Stormont increases funding read more

UCU members vote to end Solent University dispute (23 Feb) – UCU members at Solent University have accepted an agreement that suspends the dispute between the union and the university. The agreement proposes a number of actions, including a commitment by Solent University to not make any further redundancies until at least February 2022. In a consultative ballot over 70% of UCU members who voted chose to accept it. UCU members previously voted to take industrial action after Solent University had threatened to use compulsory redundancies to dismiss staff read more

UCU fighting fund: the link is here and donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes. As always, members are asked to contribute whatever their circumstances allow. A donation in solidarity of any amount will be gratefully received by members taking action.

 

NUJ

More than half of NUJ members say they have had mental health concerns during the pandemic (26 Feb) – An all-members’ survey revealed many found juggling work and the effects of Covid-19 caused stress and anxiety read more

Freelances struggle for work and aid a year on (26 Feb) – It was the self-employed who saw work disappear almost from the outset of the pandemic, survey finds. They found work and contracts were cancelled with immediate effect, with many members getting less than a day’s notice from companies they had worked for over several years read more

NUJ’s last-ditch call to the Chancellor for a freelance-friendly budget

One in three LGBT+ members have been bullied or discriminated at work (25 Feb) – Almost one-third (29 per cent) of the NUJ members surveyed during February’s LGBT+ History month and in the run up to the TUC’s LGBT+ conference said they had experienced bullying, harassment, ill-treatment or discrimination at work as a result of their sexuality or gender identity read more

 

Prospect

Bectu letter urges the Chancellor to support workers and venues until the crisis is over (24 Feb) – Philippa Childs has written to the Chancellor, urging him to use the Spring Budget to extend CJRS and SEISS until lockdown restrictions are fully lifted and to work with industry to ensure a successful reopening of theatres, venues, cinemas and live events read more

 

Mandate (Ireland)

Ex-Debenhams workers mark 300 days on strike – reiterate call on Taoiseach to make funds available to workers – Today marks 300 days since 1,000 Debenhams workers in the Republic of Ireland received an email telling them they’d lost their jobs and their company had entered liquidation. Since then, the workers have mounted official pickets on 11 stores including four in Dublin – Henry Street, Blackrock, Blanchardstown and Tallaght, as well as Galway, Tralee, Newbridge, Limerick, Waterford and two stores in Cork – Mahon Point and Patrick Street. The workers are again calling on the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, to make a €3m training fund established for the workers available as a cash payment, and to legislate to make sure this never happens again read more

Support striking Debenhams Workers: Email messages of support to the strikers via [email protected] and Mandate through [email protected]. Also, follow Stand with Debenhams Workers Facebook page

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU members in Camphill Community in Wexford vote for strike action (26 Feb) – SIPTU members in working in Camphill Communities, Duffcarrig, county Wexford have voted unanimously in favour of industrial action in a dispute over funding and working conditions. The first 24-hour stoppage will take place from 8.00 a.m. on Friday, 12th March read more

 

UVW

Key workers at a North London care home take legal action against their employer for breach of human rights (25 Feb) – Staff at a North London care home have begun a series of legal proceedings against their employer it can be revealed today. According to trade union United Voices of the World (UVW), 14 care workers, cleaners and maintenance workers at Sage Nursing Home in Golders Green North London, a privately run care home for elderly and vulnerable Jewish residents, are bringing two separate legal claims against their employer for trade union victimisation. The care home is currently at the centre of an industrial dispute and recently saw dozens of its staff walk out in two separate strikes lasting for 4 and 3 days in January and February of this year. It is understood workers are demanding a £12 per hour “living wage”, full pay sick pay and annual leave in line with NHS rates, trade union recognition and an end to what they have called “victimisation” and “discrimination” at the home read more

Catholic school cleaners to strike for 40 days and 40 nights in “righteous indignation” about “wage theft”, “poverty pay” & “institutional racism” – Starting on 16th March a group of cleaners at the prestigious South London Roman Catholic Girls’ School, La Retraite, are set to take the first strike in the school’s 140 year history pledging to walk out for 40 days and 40 nights in “righteous indignation” about “unlawful wage deductions”, “poverty pay” and “institutional racism”. If all the planned strike days are taken, it will make it the longest school cleaners strike in UK history. The dispute centres around the fact that the cleaners are outsourced to a private contractor Ecocleen which results in the receiving inferior pay rates and terms and conditions to those enjoyed by La Retraite staff, including only getting Statutory Sick Pay, whilst everyone else gets full pay sick pay read more

Support the North London SAGE strike – Watch ReelNews video of strike

They’ve made it clear to Sage’s trustees that dignity in the workplace is non-negotiable. They deserve a living wage of £12 per hour, full pay sick pay and trade union recognition; and they won’t stop until they get it! If you want to support these workers in getting the respect and dignity they are long overdue, here’s what you can do:

1) Use our new letter writing tool to contact your MP calling on them to support the strike here

2) Use our new letter writing tool to send a message directly to Sage’s trustees calling on them to meet the workers’ demands here

3) Donate to the workers’ strike fund details here

UVW Facebook page

 

 

 

Other news

The Social Housing Action Campaign (SHAC) is teaming up with Director Melissa Herman for a special showing of her documentary We’re Still Here, an inspiring film about the housing crisis and the victories being won by grassroots activists.

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

From PCS website: Shrewsbury pickets’ case at Court of Appeal – The Shrewsbury 24 Campaign, which is seeking justice for North Wales building workers prosecuted for picketing during the 1972 national building workers’ strike, takes a potentially significant step next month when the Court of Appeal will be asked to overturn their convictions. The campaign, backed by PCS, is seeking justice for 24 trade unionists arrested and charged after the first national building workers’ strike in 1972 read more

Socialist Film Club – Justice for the Shrewsbury Pickets – We welcome you to attend the next showing of the Socialist Film Club on 24th February for the film, a guest speaker, some music, and discussion. The film looks at the events surrounding the arrest of 24 Shrewsbury building workers in 1972, and the shocking imprisonment of three of them. At this very moment the case is going through the high courts to clear their names register here

#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement

The NSSN sends our solidarity and support to all those taking part in the Undercover Policing Inquiry who have suffered from state surveillance into the labour and trade union movement and a whole number of campaigns from anti-racism to environmentalism.

Watch video: ‘You’re Muted’ – What’s Up at the #SpyCopsInquiry? – Five minutes of highlights from the ‘Public’ Inquiry hearing evidence in secret about undercover policing  in England and Wales since 1968

Keep up with developments and read and watch campaigners’ statements on the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) and Undercover Policing Inquiry websites and spycops info Facebook group

Blacklist Support Group opening statement to the public inquiry – Dave Smith posted this message on the BSG Facebook page:-

“I’d like to publicly thank everyone from around the globe who has sent messages of support after our opening statement at the undercover policing public inquiry. I was proud to deliver the speech on behalf of the Blacklist Support Group; but this is a collective endeavour. We got to this point by blacklisted union members working together with investigative journalists, campaigning lawyers, world class researchers, MPs, unions, anti-racist campaigns and rank & file activists. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all the non-state, non-police core participants in the public inquiry, especially our sister campaigns; Police Spies Out of Lives, Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance and the family justice campaigns. This is what solidarity looks like”.

Full text of the BSG opening statement is now online via the Hazards magazine website: https://www.hazards.org/blacklistblog/2020/11/17/blacklist-support-group-opening-statement-for-ucpi-dave-smith/

It can be watched via this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JegrwaVKRfs&feature=youtu.be

Some of the media coverage:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/police-urged-union-members-to-bomb-shop-ll0mv8bs7

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/nov/17/police-chief-who-spied-on-activists-went-on-to-work-for-union-blacklist-inquiry-told

https://www.union-news.co.uk/i-am-a-blacklisted-construction-worker-i-will-not-be-silenced-read-dave-smiths-explosive-evidence-to-spycops-inquiry/

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/former-cop-who-spied-on-trade-unionists-left-the-force-to-join-blacklist-firm

http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/2020/11/17/ucpi-daily-report-17-nov-2020/

To support the ongoing campaign for justice, please share some of the press articles on social media

Builders Crack: The Movie

In the current situation, this long lost film from the 1990s about rank and file union organising in the construction industry is intended to lift the spirits, but also to spark a debate in our movement. Hope the youngsters in this film put a smile on your face.

Watch – Share – Discuss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VZ-QMA1FMg

Blacklist Support Group

Book: http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNcgrNs6pB8

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

Sign petition: St Mungo’s brutal treatment of BAME worker opposed by Unite – Without income for twenty-one weeks. Female worker comes to the end of a period of sickness during the pandemic. Health conditions put her at raised risk. She is also older and from a BAME background. Her normal job would expose her to further increased risk. Rather than furlough her or find her alternative work the employer simply stops her pay without going through any personnel procedure. Management reject appeals to senior levels from Unite leaving the worker without income and desperate for twenty-one weeks

Sign petition and support the strikes to Reinstate Sharon Morgan LONDON DESIGN AND ENGINEERING UTC – At the start of this term, teacher and NEU rep Sharon Morgan was summarily dismissed from her job by London Design and Engineering UTC. Sharon was sacked without due process, with no formal investigation or a hearing where she could put her case. At an employment tribunal the judge described LDE’s behaviour as “morally reprehensible” and LDE subsequently agreed to reinstate Sharon. But the next day LDE changed their mind and refused to reinstate her. In reality, Sharon was sacked for helping NEU members stand up for better working conditions for staff, in the interests of the whole school community. This is trade union victimisation and it’s unacceptable. The sacking of Sharon is an attack on all trade unionists at LDE, in Newham, and everywhere

Security guard seeks ‘groundbreaking’ injunction to stop his ‘unlawful’ sacking in what his union UVW describes as the first case of its kind for a low paid worker (23 Nov) – A security guard at the Francis Crick Institute in London is set to face off against his employer Wilson James in an injunction hearing in what his trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW), has described as an “unprecedented legal showdown”. On 11th November after only 3 weeks in his new job Cetin Avsar, the security guard from Turkey bringing the legal action, received a letter inviting him to a probationary review hearing stating “[his] conduct has not reached the required standards” citing only his membership of his trade union, his previously having participated in a strike and his views, shard by his union, that outsourcing is ‘discriminatory’. The letter warned him that he might be dismissed after the hearing read more

FCC dismiss Tony Smith Hull Unison Activist

Trade Unionists and activists will be outraged to hear that Unison activist Tony Smith’s dismissal has been upheld by FCC. As previously reported, Tony’s dismissal on trumped up charges was because of his trade union activities. It took nearly five weeks from the appeal to the outcome for FCC to confirm the sacking. Tony has faced the mental torture of not knowing whether he has a job or not, but the time taken reflected that dismissing him was not a simple issue because of the high profile that Tony has in the local Labour movement. Unison will be seeking compensation and the campaign focuses on Hull City Council to end its contract with FCC. Mick Whale Chair Hull Trades Council

PCS: Trade unionists asked to send solidarity to PCS rep dismissed after blowing the whistle (25 July) – Trade unionists are being urged to send solidarity messages to a PCS rep dismissed after whistleblowing at the Department of Work and Pensions. Enrico La Rocca, who had worked for the DWP for more than 27 years, lost his job in May after highlighting serious concerns with management over a number of years. His complaints resulted in questions being asked about the department’s handling of Carer’s Allowance overpayments by the National Audit Office (NAO) and raised by in a Work and Pensions Select Committee report read more from Union News

RMT: SUSPENSION OF RMT REPRESENTATIVES, FRATTON – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY – Following my previous Circular (IR/171/20) dated 14th May 2020, as you are aware, two of our representatives, Mark Gamble and Brian Perren, were suspended from duty using unscrupulous charges. South Western Railway’s actions throughout this dispute have been appalling. The company have clearly targeted our members as they are hardworking and effective representatives. The callous action of South Western Railway has been abhorrent from the very start of this dispute. Our members recently had their disciplinary hearings and after successful representation Brother Brian Perren has been reinstated to his substantive role. However, Mark has been left in limbo by the company and still faces these ridiculous charges. This means that the ballot that was due to close today (4th June) has been cancelled. As one of our members has been reinstated, this changes the basis of the original ballot. Unfortunately, because of the anti-trade union laws we would not have been able to use any mandate we received from this ballot. Therefore, we have to run a fresh ballot and this will be to continue to defend our suspended Brother Mark Gamble. The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and has congratulated our members and all those who assisted Brian in proving his innocence and ensuring he is reinstated to his substantive role. The NEC has also instructed me to run a fresh ballot in defence of our Brother Mark Gamble who still remains suspended. It is incredibly disappointing that the company has failed to see sense and instead have chosen to drag on an unnecessary dispute. It is disgraceful that Mark remains suspended and we have no choice but to stand shoulder to shoulder and defy SWR’s callous and distasteful decision. I have written to the company today to advise them of this union’s position and they have been left in no doubt that we will not allow them to pursue outrageous charges against our from democratically elected representatives (from RMT general secretary Mick Cash)

Clara Paillard PCS victoryWe are delighted to announce that the threat of dismissal has been lifted and Clara, PCS president in the Culture sector, is ‘back at work’ (although from home during the current pandemic).

Reinstate Percy Yunganina UVW union – Percy is a cleaner at King’s college with 5 years on the job, and a UVW executive committee member, who’s just been sacked after a disciplinary hearing he refused to attend due to observing the government’s social distancing guidelines but which King’s College proceeded with anyway in his absence without even letting him know or inviting him to attend via phone. The hearing would have had 8 people cramped together in a small room in complete disregard of the government’s instructions about social distancing. Percy has explained the reaons for not attending and asked for the decision to be overturned and the hearing to be reconvened via phone or in person after Lockdown. However, King’s have scandalously refused this request and have insisted on upholding his dismissal which now leaves Percy out of work and out of pocket in the middle of a pandemic! He will formally appeal but it could take months to hear and deliver an outcome. We will also take King’s to tribunal but that could take over a year. This is utterly shameless conduct by King’s HR team, led by Nigel Smith, the Head of People Services. They need to be held to account. Everyone deserves the right to a fair hearing and should not have that right denied them for respecting the government’s public health guidelines about social distancing. Please repost this and write to Nigel Smith at the following address telling him to reinstate Percy – [email protected]

Sign the petition: Reinstate Ezra Christian RMTWe, the undersigned, are appalled at the treatment and summary dismissal of our Bakerloo Line colleague Ezra Christian. Ezra has been treated very harshly and does not deserve to be sacked. We call on London Underground to do the right thing in this case and Reinstate Ezra back into London Underground Employment immediately

Support Danyal Aziz Unite Daniel was a Unite rep at London City Airport, who was recently sacked. Labour MP Sam Tarry has tabled a Parliamentary Early Day Motion in support of Danyal. Email your local MP to get them to sign the EDM

Sign the petition: Reinstate UNISON rep Peter Moorhead and stop victimising trade unionists at Alternative Futures Group (AFG)

Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael Hunnum – 12,000 workers faced being sacked before Christmas by scrooge bosses ASDA, who are now owned by US superstore giant Walmart. This threat hanging over them was unless they agree to the new ‘Contract 6’ which will see them lose all their paid breaks and forced to work bank holidays. The same employer is sacking North East GMB member Michael Hunnam. Michael’s fight is part of the same struggle to resist the offensive of the ASDA bosses. Michael’s supporters believe that his determined opposition to Contract 6 is what has put him in the ASDA firing line. Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael!

Guardian: Ricky Tomlinson’s criminal convictions to be re-examined

Appeal court to look again at case of Royle Family actor after claims he may have been unjustly jailed

The criminal convictions of actor Ricky Tomlinson, who starred in the TV comedy the Royle Family, are to be re-examined by appeal court judges after an official body suggested he may have been unjustly jailed. Tomlinson and other trade unionists have been campaigning for years to clear their names after they were jailed during a strike in the 1970s. On Tuesday, the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the public body that scrutinises alleged miscarriages of justice, announced it had asked the court of appeal to review the cases of Tomlinson and others. Tomlinson, 80, said it was “good news” and an opportunity to prove that he and 23 other men were prosecuted in what amounted to a politically motivated attack on the trade union movement by the government, police and managers read more in Guardian

 

Blacklist Support Group financial appeal: the Blacklist support group is desperately short of funds, to continue the incredible work we need more finance, would you please consider making a donation, raise it at your branches and trade councils. Please make cheques payable to Joint sites committee and send to 70 Darnay Rise Chelmsford Essex CM1 4XA. Please forward onto your contacts many thanks Steve Kelly (JSC Treasurer)

Blacklisted t-shirts available at: https://shop.hopenothate.org.uk/component/hikashop/product/78-blacklisted-t-shirt

 

International

Nigeria: A CALL FOR SOLIDARITY FOR ABBEY TROTSKY

Comrade Abiodun Bamigboye (Abbey Trotsky) will again appear at the Magistrate Court, Iyaganku, Ibadan, Oyo state on Wednesday 24 February, 2021 to answer to four-count trumped–up criminal charges of conspiracy to commit breach of public peace, unlawful assembly, assault and malicious damage. If convicted on all four counts, Abbey could face a jail term of up to 13 years. Comrade Abbey Trotsky is the acting national chairperson of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) and the coordinator of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights (CDWR) in Oyo State.

Recall that Comrade Abbey Trotsky was arraigned on 7 June 2019 following over three weeks of repeated harassment by the police and State Secret Service, known as DSS. Between 19 December 2018 and 9 June 2019, Comrade Abbey Trotsky was arrested 5 times by the police and secret service. Then between 28 May and 7 June, he was forced to report weekly at the office of the AIG Zone 2 in Osogbo, Osun State, a neighbouring state. The background to this string of persecution is Abbey Trotsky’s intervention in a strike of contract/casual workers of Sumal Food Limited (http://sumalfoods.com) on 2nd and 3rd October 2018.

We hereby solicit your solidarity and support as follows:

  • Join us in the Magistrate Ccourt 6, Iyaganku by 9am on the 24 February, 2021. We intend to organise a protest at the court premises.
  • Organise Protests at or send Protest messages to Nigerian Embassies and High Commissions in solidarity on the same day across the world
  • You can also send protests messages to drop all of the trumped-up charges against Abbey Trotsky to the following numbers:

(1)       Minster of Labour & Productivity  – +234 8033371229

(2)       Deputy Inspector General of Police – +234 802 343 1079, +234 803 301 4905

(3)       Police PRO, Force Headquarters: +234 8038375844

(4)       Police PRO, Oyo State Command: +234 8035632410

 

Support Danone workers rallying to defending quality employment and rights! Read more

 

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NSSN South West Conference – Sunday 7 March 1pm Facebook event

 

 

CONTACT US

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